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Boy, can you beat these? Editor's Says PC’s preference for professionals China invests in India London, London Narayan Protest masters... Tough task taking states together Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Contrarian cousins TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Streamlining mandatory third party cover A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Mersal magnified Sweet news for TN sugar mills Fortune 500 review WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Delhi Chalo... PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Delhi is distant… Small units prefers to remain small... A yen for wastage… Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Plummeting profits of PSBs Funding the un-funded A more liberated TN… L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Quality education through the PPP mode Valli, they are more marginalised IPL type auction for VCs? Return to king coal for urea... Should we change the official year? When small is no larger beautiful.. Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Where is Rajaji? Solar, solar everywhere … The why of tax incentives Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Cutting the nose to spite the face A professional at the helm of IRDA... Editor's Notes Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt When the President was rendered homeless… EEC at the National Media Centre Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Shanti and Sadhana through Music For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Things happen by accident and not by design... Vibrant Gujarat More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Preserving for the future More heat than light Muffled voices for merit… Tribute Russi Mody – a tribute Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model CII projects higher growth… A friendly business group He saved millions from starvation... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Shipping woes of Chennai companies …and of a popular trade leader An enemy’s enemy is a friend Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Polls and promises S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Multi-faceted Venkat Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Cement prices continue to rise… Engineering seats go abegging Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Music happens Tribute – UCAL Selvan… A proud Madrasi Nuclear power at the nucleus Alexa – Talking Wikipedia The nuclear option Of course, Gujarat is vibrant S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal IPL - no surprise this scam The rise and fall of Annamalai University Secularism and anti-Hinduism TIAM turns a full cycle Solar thermal shines… Welcome GST Wise Presidents Where a state respects its litterateurs… Poor quality of university VCs Modi storms Silicon Valley F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing A think tank for Chennai Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Paytm karo... Breaththrough in malaria control More tributes to GR Tatas moving out of urea production... Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara A welcome initiative by the judiciary A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… An inexplicable neglect Adharma of opposition politics No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu The Jan Dhan bonanza Airlines in India: cost and space Come elections, come advertisements... CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Roaring Ro-Ro facility He continues the focus on social amelioration Kudos to NDTV... West Bengal: mindless malignancy Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... The brown list of Venkitaramanan Moily’s bold thrust Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Sri Lanka votes for change Silver Years of Madras Musings This scant respect for Law TGS- The king storyteller TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Fortune for Indian Airlines Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Medical costs hit the roof... GNS - 100: our first subscriber The Gulf aviation boom More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Haul over the coal Revving up the manufacturing sector Revive development banks... How Air-India loses customs... Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Delhi is distant Modi and the lady Road development slows down Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Waning interest in public discussions… Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Strengthen the base... The balancing act Maximising the micro pricing … Discoms deserve better… Why this malaise in medical education? Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Align crops to agro climate endowments… Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Tax agriculture For whom the bell tolls? Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Pharma – overdose of copying Shale gas and its shallow future Demise of a media baron... The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu SoA @ 80 Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! No engine for this car Another Indian music maestro at the UN Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Robber barons everywhere When nations steal growth from one another… Increasing non co-operation of state leaders IAS invades NDDB... Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Mu Sigma – is no more CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. When Ratan Tata visited SRM Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Five star activism stalls development activity Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL TELANGANA at last…BUT A rich pool of talent not utilised…. EVM is tamper-proof Welcome focus on core competence Telangana in top gear… Readers' Mail Parliament in paralysis... MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Delhi returns to BJP Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Convulsions in The Hindu Sweeter prospects for sugar Tribute – M V Murugappan Gas is the way forward The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Build close rapport with business leaders Towards speedy justice The sea- saw battle continues... The Swadeshi Trump Intellectual of rare qualities Noble nonagenarians... The rise and rise of KCP The power-full Hindujas Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! A glass full of corruption Why land prices zoom in TN? Quality silica from Neyveli An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Put expensive assets created to use... Building loyalty through the stomach Auto components surge… Kinetic Karnataka Banning booze... The star of Spencers is no more Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital The few handicaps... Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Which side are you, Montek? Tatas moving out of urea production... ONGC at KG Basin New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… B H Kothari - a tribute Make standards certification mandatory... Gay abandon in pricing When online building permits work…. Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Fuel for thought No Maha Koottani in TN... Rahman at CIC Kulandai was a giant GM Technology at last! Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Making ‘my Amaravati’...
 
A professional at the helm of IRDA...
THE DECISION of Finance Minister P Chidambaram to appoint T S Vijayan as Chairman - IRDA, breathes a lot of fresh air. Vijayan brings with him four decades of experience in life insurance. He had headed LIC with distinction. He can now attend with speed to several of the issues demanding serious reforms.

It required same special effort to break the dominance of the Indian Administrative Service in cornering plum posts post-retirement. But then PC has this in good measure. Incidentally, N Rangachari ( a chartered accountant and an IRS officer) worked hard to formulate the guidelines for regulation and development that led to the establishment of IRDA. Rangachari headed IRDA with distinction and paved the way for opening up the sector for both life and general insurance.

Rangachari’s successors (all retired IAS officers) in their limited tenures, did not show much understanding of the complexities of this highly evolved business. This resulted in intense rate wars and unethical practices that could not be regulated. IRDA has failed to tackle myriad issues. Reforms like increasing the share of foreign investors could not take place. The result: general insurance companies bled, incurring heavy losses on motor and health insurance. For the four PSU companies, profits came from investment income and not from the core business of insurance. This comfort was not available to the private players. In fact a few of these are sitting ducks for acquisition.

Insurance penetration is still low. Nearly twelve years after opening up, there has not been widespread awareness on the need for insurance cover. An estimate puts that a majority of vehicles ply without the mandatory third party insurance cover. The database is weak. Vijayan, one hopes, will focus equally on the development aspects of IRDA as much as on regulation.

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